Abid Hussain Rather
Mental pollution is bewilderment and perplexity in the thinking process which ultimately leads to stress, anxiety and tension in our lives. It is the amalgam of preoccupied imaginary negative thoughts, apprehensions and speculations which psychologically haunt our mind. With the advancement of science and information technology in our lives, we have oceanic information available with us. This information contains main mental pollutants in the form of sexual, horrible and violent video clips which contaminate our mind and adversely affect our decision making and learning process and weaken our memory. Mental pollution can also be caused by some criticism, disfavour, dishonour, an unpleasant situation or relationship. Pride and inferiority complex is also a kind of mental pollution. All those people who give preference to their personal gains without caring for others are actually involved in a kind of mental pollution. As our body requires clean, nutritious and balanced diet to remain healthy similarly a healthy content is required for a healthy mind. Anxiety, depression, jealousy, illogical and negative thoughts, immoral actions and fear of future are some of the adverse effects caused by mental pollution. Mental pollution is also harmful for society as it leads to all sorts of evils in a society like robbery, rapes, murders and other crimes. Modern man is living in a lustrous imaginary world because of easy availability of technology where he imagines that everything is under his control. He has forgotten that God has created different people with different abilities. This forgetfulness has resulted in jealousy, competition and negative thoughts, avariciousness and egoism which in turn has resulted in mental pollution.
It has been observed in a research that out of almost 6700 languages spoken in the world more than 2000 languages are spoken in the continent of Africa where educational standard is very low. Furthermore; as per the reports of Centre for Advanced Study of African Languages, almost 75-80% Africans are multilingual and can speak 12-15 languages as either their first or second language. Since Africa is world’s least developed continent where people are living in very poor and impecunious condition as they have no availability of scientific and industrial resources. They have no access to multimedia videos, books, dictionaries and internet services. On the other hand people in developed and civilized regions of the world can hardly learn a single foreign language in their lifetime though they have access to all these aids and helping tools. According to experts, the absence of mental pollutants in the environment enables an African to learn and speak an average of 13 languages. Researchers believe that besides socio cultural and psychological factors, absence of mental pollutants in the form of violent and sexual images and videos coming from various media sources can play a vital role in learning foreign languages. Intentional or unintentional encounter with various mental pollutants in the form of movies, programs, pictures, posters, advertisements can trigger the brain hormones and disturbs the biochemical system of our body which results in the arousal of various emotions like anger, frustration, fear or sexual thrill. Such emotions weaken our memory power, imbalance our thoughts and make our mind unable to concentrate and focus on new things and hinder our learning and other cognitive processes. Researchers are of the opinion that during the ancient periods despite the unavailability of science and information technology and powerful tools, people were having sharp memory power and they were masters in many fields and languages due to absence of mental pollutants in the atmosphere which could weaken their learning process and other mental abilities. It was observed during a survey conducted by some experts in Faith University of Turkey that people who spend most of their time in front of TV or computer screens because of their work, entertainment or some other purpose are involved in some kind of mental pollution irrespective of their age, sex or occupation. According to this survey the level of mental pollution of an individual depends upon the amount of time he spends in different media forms.
It is pertinent to mention here that media and communication is not the only source of mental pollution but any process, event or episode which confuses our mind, diverts our attention or disturbs our concentration can decrease our mental abilities and result in mental pollution. As positive comments and applauses from people can give a person happiness similarly their inexpedient criticism, negative behaviour can clog our mental capabilities. So we should always avoid people who have negativity in their ideologies so that our mind could remain free from any kind of pollution. It is need of the hour to aware people about the ill effects of misuse of modern technology. The sole purpose of technology is to make our life easy and comfortable instead it should not take away the peace of our mind by polluting it. It will be time consuming and difficult for us to learn new things and processes if we will fail in controlling the different factors which result in mental pollution. Overuse and misuse of media and information technology will result in wastage of time instead of saving it and can deteriorate mental health. We should take every possible step to curb mental pollution and keep our mind clean and healthy as nothing can harm an individual as much as much as an unhealthy mind can harm him.
(The author is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)